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Local organization makes global impact promoting diversity, inclusion

Kinect Education Group launched in 2017.
KEYC News Now at 10 Recording
Published: Jan. 2, 2022 at 9:12 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - A Mankato-based organization promoting diversity, equity and inclusion is sparking change around the world.

Briana Williamson and Kelly Meier launched Kinect Education Group in 2017.

“It’s larger than just our organization or our area. It’s much bigger for a purpose much bigger than our own,” stated Williamson.

Kinect provides schools and workplaces with with innovative tools to bridge the education gap and improve learning environments.

Meier said, “It is really looking at where are the voids that are causing students to not have an equitable opportunity to have success.”

Kinect offers workshops, books and resources to people of all ages that cover important topics like prejudice and microaggressions.

Meier added, “Our goal is to engage as many people as possible in making our society and our learning environments inclusive and equitable.”

Kinect’s in-person programming was pushed online during the pandemic, but the virtual format allowed it to reach new audiences.

Williamson explained, “In a single day, we can be in Vermont, we can be in California, we can be with homeschool teachers in Arizona. We really looked at that as progress for two women who live in Mankato, who work in Mankato.”

The organization is working with school boards across the U.S. to provide training and make policy changes.

Meier said, “We want people to be armed with resources that will help them think more about what they can do as transformative leaders, as school board leaders, to make change.”

In the long run, Williamson and Meier hope Kinect will continue making a difference in places close to home and across the globe.

Williamson mentioned, “We really see it as the start to a process that really can change our nation by looking at not just what we can do in our work and our roles, but really stepping outside of that position and looking at the person.”

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